Safety and privacy of you medical records are extremely important as they allow our doctors to provide correct treatment to us and avoid misdiagnosis of our illnesses. Records must also be stored in a safe and secure manner, so that they don’t fall in the wrong hands. Most people want to keep their medical history under wraps and HIPAA has made it mandatory to all those people who handle such records to keep them private.
HIPAA has given a number of rights to an individual regarding his or her medical records. The individual can demand to see his medical records from his doctor or the hospital where he is getting the treatment. The individual has the right to demand the records without providing any specific reasons for it and the doctor or hospital must give him a copy of his records within 30 days of the request.
But the institution or doctor can impose a small fee in return of the provided records. If the patient wants them to post the records, then he will have to pay for the postage and handling charges. Even though, you will get most of the information in your medical records, but in some rare cases, your doctor may hold some information from you. This is done in the cases where the doctor feels that disclosing a particular piece of information may hurt you or people around you or endanger your health in any way.
Even though with the introduction of electronic medical records and strict rules, the chance of error in medical records has decreased considerably, but still, you can get any mistakes in your medical records rectified. Similarly, if there is an omission of certain information from your medical records, then it’s the duty of the hospital or doctor who issued the records to correct it and provide the updated version of records free of cost.
Even if your doctor or hospital doesn’t think that there is a mistake in your medical records, you can still ask them to register your disagreement in your medical records. This will inform your future doctors about the conflict of opinions between you and your doctor.
Our medical history is extremely private to us and it should stay that way. Thankfully, HIPAA has provided many rules which ensure that nobody can abuse our privacy.
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